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I am terrified of my girls growing up to be teens. Oh why wasn’t I nicer to my mom during those turbulent years?! Well, now that Mom 101 (a way fab blog) linked me up with Vanessa Van Petten, I’m not quite as scared.

frontcover-copy.jpgThis young woman is an author, entrepreneur and life trainer for teens. Vanessa watched many of her friends from high school and college destroy their lives with drugs and alcohol. She says that much of their anger stems from poor relationships with their parents. So she has dedicated her life to helping parents and teenagers mend their relationships. See why I think this girl is cool?!

As a high school senior, Vanessa wrote, “You’re Grounded,” a practical guide for parents and teens to strengthen their relationship and deal with everyday challenges from high school cliques to household chores.

On her site, I particularly enjoyed a top ten list of “Things Kids Wish Their Parents Would Do.” On the list… Have interests and hobbies other than your kids. I think this means Dylan and Summer won’t want to hang out with me forever. Damn. I better go get me some hobbies.

4 Responses to If you have teenagers…

  • I am so sorry, but that list is pathetic! If only it were that simple, if only! Listen to me – teens at their worst are not rational at all. It does not matter what you do (within reason) – they will hate it. Because it was you that did it. My daughter hated my asking about her day, whether it was when she walked in the door or 2 hours later, because she hated the thought that any part of her life would touch any part of mine. I know plenty of parents with interests of their own and lives outside of their kids, and you know what? Then the teen hates them for that! Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. Often I thought, “Well, if I had a job outside the home, she would respect me more.” But then how do you explain my lawyer friend, who cried her eyes out every morning on her way to work over how her daughter was acting?

    The only thing you can do is make sure you remain the parent. Your teen does not want to be your friend. Your out-of-control teen wants to do what she wants, when she wants, because that’s what she thinks being a grown-up is. And you are stopping her from doing that. Because you are, indeed, her parent. Demand respect – settle for nothing less. Essentially, you are dealing with a very large 2-year-old. Make sure to let her know that when she stops acting like a 2-year-old, you’d be glad to consider expanding her rights (along with her responsibilities). Not that she’ll hear you….

    John Rosemond’s “TeenProofing” is one of the best books about raising teens. Dr. Ray Guarendi is good, too, if you’ve got a teen really pushing at you.

    Have fun!

  • ScreamFreeinOregon says:

    My recommended book would be Hal Runkel's ScreamFree Parenting. I believe children will never grown into accomplished adults if their parents lord over them and "demand respect" from them. You are their example and how are you setting it? By being angry at them for being individuals and needing space? Of course children need bounderies, but they should be set by calm, open minded parents that know that the more you focus on youself and your own problems, those "out of control" tween and teens will have a role model worth respecting and mirroring.

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kelcey kintner